Bangkok, Sep 27 (EFE).- Fighting between forces of Myanmar’s military junta and rebel armed groups continued Monday in the country’s northwest, where several communities were devastated and authorities cut off the internet signal, local media reported.
According to Chindwin news agency, confrontations occurred Monday in Thatlangm, Chin State between the military and the Chinland Defense Force, one of the civilian militias that have emerged to resist the army, which seized power during a Feb. 1 coup.
Thantlang, the scene of these fighting, has been devastated in recent weeks by shelling, forcing most of its 8,000 inhabitants to leave their homes, in many cases to cross the nearby border with India.
The other hot spot of the clashes in recent weeks is the province of Sagaing, also in the northwest, where according to Khit Thit Media, the army has taken the towns of Monywa and Kyemon and fired on the civilian population, causing one fatality.
According to DVB news portal, there were also army aerial bombings over the weekend in the town of Penlebu, where the internet signal was cut.
This affected at least 23 localities in recent days, hindering information flow and adding to the difficulties caused by the persecution of the independent press, which since the coup has often had to go underground, operating from other countries.
The selective internet blackouts, especially at night, was one of the first measures taken by the military after the coup, which it justifies on alleged fraud during November’s general elections, during which the party of deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory.
The coup was met with protests countrywide and a movement of civil disobedience that managed to stop part of the administration and the private sector.
At least 1,125 people died as a result of brutal repression exercised by police and soldiers since the coup, who have shot to kill peaceful protesters, while holding 6,803 opponents in detention, according to data from the Association for the Assistance of Political prisoners.
The coup has also exacerbated the armed conflict in the country with the birth of new defense groups against the military junta, many of them under the umbrella of an alternative democratic government made up of former parliamentarians and activists. EFE